GATA2 deficiency and human hematopoietic development modeled using induced pluripotent stem cells.
ABSTRACT: GATA2 deficiency is an inherited or sporadic genetic disorder characterized by distinct cellular deficiency, bone marrow failure, various infections, lymphedema, pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, and predisposition to myeloid malignancies resulting from heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the GATA2 gene. How heterozygous GATA2 mutations affect human hematopoietic development or cause characteristic cellular deficiency and eventual hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndrome or leukemia is not fully understood. We used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study hematopoietic development in the setting of GATA2 deficiency. We performed hematopoietic differentiation using iPSC derived from patients with GATA2 deficiency and examined their ability to commit to mesoderm, hemogenic endothelial precursors (HEPs), hematopoietic stem progenitor cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. Patient-derived iPSC, either derived from fibroblasts/marrow stromal cells or peripheral blood mononuclear cells, did not show significant defects in committing to mesoderm, HEP, hematopoietic stem progenitor, or NK cells. However, HEP derived from GATA2-mutant iPSC showed impaired maturation toward hematopoietic lineages. Hematopoietic differentiation was nearly abolished from homozygous GATA2 knockout (KO) iPSC lines and markedly reduced in heterozygous KO lines compared with isogenic controls. On the other hand, correction of the mutated GATA2 allele in patient-specific iPSC did not alter hematopoietic development consistently in our model. GATA2 deficiency usually manifests within the first decade of life. Newborn and infant hematopoiesis appears to be grossly intact; therefore, our iPSC model indeed may resemble the disease phenotype, suggesting that other genetic, epigenetic, or environmental factors may contribute to bone marrow failure in these patients following birth. However, heterogeneity of PSC-based models and limitations of in vitro differentiation protocol may limit the possibility to detect subtle cellular phenotypes.
Project description:Constitutional GATA2 deficiency caused by heterozygous germline GATA2 mutations has a broad spectrum of clinical phenotypes, including systemic infections, lymphedema, cytopenias, and myeloid neoplasms. Genotype-phenotype correlation is not well understood mechanistically in GATA2 deficiency. We performed whole transcriptome sequencing of single hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from 8 patients, who had pathogenic GATA2 mutations and myelodysplasia. Mapping patients' cells onto normal hematopoiesis, we observed deficiency in lymphoid/myeloid progenitors, also evident from highly constrained gene correlations. HSPCs of patients exhibited distinct patterns of gene expression and coexpression compared with counterparts from healthy donors. Distinct lineages showed differently altered transcriptional profiles. Stem cells in patients had dysregulated gene expression related to apoptosis, cell cycle, and quiescence; increased expression of erythroid/megakaryocytic priming genes; and decreased lymphoid priming genes. The prominent deficiency in lympho-myeloid lineages in GATA2 deficiency appeared at least partly due to the expression of aberrant gene programs in stem cells prior to lineage commitment. We computationally imputed cells with chromosomal abnormalities and determined their gene expression; DNA repair genes were downregulated in trisomy 8 cells, potentially rendering these cells vulnerable to second-hit somatic mutations and additional chromosomal abnormalities. Cells with complex cytogenetic abnormalities showed defects in genes related to multilineage differentiation and cell cycle. Single-cell RNA sequencing is powerful in resolving transcriptomes of cell subpopulations despite a paucity of cells in marrow failure. Our study discloses previously uncharacterized transcriptome signatures of stem cells and progenitors in GATA2 deficiency, providing a broad perspective of potential mechanisms by which germline mutations modulate early hematopoiesis in a human disease. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01905826, NCT01861106, and NCT00001620.
Project description:The fetal liver kinase 1 (FLK-1)(+) hemangioblast can generate hematopoietic, endothelial, and smooth muscle cells (SMCs). ER71/ETV2, GATA2, and SCL form a core transcriptional network in hemangioblast development. Transient coexpression of these three factors during mesoderm formation stage in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) robustly enhanced hemangioblast generation by activating bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and FLK-1 signaling while inhibiting phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, WNT signaling, and cardiac output. Moreover, etsrp, gata2, and scl inhibition converted hematopoietic field of the zebrafish anterior lateral plate mesoderm to cardiac. FLK-1(+) hemangioblasts generated by transient coexpression of the three factors (ER71-GATA2-SCL [EGS]-induced FLK-1(+)) effectively produced hematopoietic, endothelial, and SMCs in culture and in vivo. Importantly, EGS-induced FLK-1(+) hemangioblasts, when codelivered with mesenchymal stem cells as spheroids, were protected from apoptosis and generated functional endothelial cells and SMCs in ischemic mouse hindlimbs, resulting in improved blood perfusion and limb salvage. ESC-derived, EGS-induced FLK-1(+) hemangioblasts could provide an attractive cell source for future hematopoietic and vascular repair and regeneration.
Project description:Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the endosteum of mesoderm-derived appendicular bones have been extensively studied. Neural crest-derived bones differ from appendicular bones in developmental origin, mode of bone formation and pathological bone resorption. Whether neural crest-derived bones harbor HSCs is elusive. Here, we discovered HSC-like cells in postnatal murine mandible, and benchmarked them with donor-matched, mesoderm-derived femur/tibia HSCs, including clonogenic assay and long-term culture. Mandibular CD34 negative, LSK cells proliferated similarly to appendicular HSCs, and differentiated into all hematopoietic lineages. Mandibular HSCs showed a consistent deficiency in lymphoid differentiation, including significantly fewer CD229 + fractions, PreProB, ProB, PreB and B220 + slgM cells. Remarkably, mandibular HSCs reconstituted irradiated hematopoietic bone marrow in vivo, just as appendicular HSCs. Genomic profiling of osteoblasts from mandibular and femur/tibia bone marrow revealed deficiencies in several HSC niche regulators among mandibular osteoblasts including Cxcl12. Neural crest derived bone harbors HSCs that function similarly to appendicular HSCs but are deficient in the lymphoid lineage. Thus, lymphoid deficiency of mandibular HSCs may be accounted by putative niche regulating genes. HSCs in craniofacial bones have functional implications in homeostasis, osteoclastogenesis, immune functions, tumor metastasis and infections such as osteonecrosis of the jaw.
Project description:Inherited or sporadic heterozygous mutations in the transcription factor GATA2 lead to a clinical syndrome characterized by non-tuberculous mycobacterial and other opportunistic infections, a severe deficiency in monocytes, B cells and natural killer cells, and progression from a hypocellular myelodysplastic syndrome to myeloid leukemias. To identify acquired somatic mutations associated with myeloid transformation in patients with GATA2 mutations, we sequenced the region of the ASXL1 gene previously associated with transformation from myelodysplasia to myeloid leukemia. Somatic, heterozygous ASXL1 mutations were identified in 14/48 (29%) of patients with GATA2 deficiency, including four out of five patients who developed a proliferative chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Although patients with GATA2 mutations had a similarly high incidence of myeloid transformation when compared to previously described patients with ASXL1 mutations, GATA2 deficiency patients with acquired ASXL1 mutation were considerably younger, almost exclusively female, and had a high incidence of transformation to a proliferative chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. These patients may benefit from allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation before the development of acute myeloid leukemia or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00018044, NCT00404560, NCT00001467, NCT00923364.).
Project description:Heterozygous mutations in the transcriptional regulator GATA-2 associate with multilineage immunodeficiency, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The majority of these mutations localize in the zinc finger (ZnF) domains, which mediate GATA-2 DNA binding. Deregulated hematopoiesis with GATA-2 mutation frequently develops in adulthood, yet GATA-2 function in the bone marrow remains unresolved. To investigate this, we conditionally deleted the GATA-2 C-terminal ZnF (C-ZnF) coding sequences in adult mice. Upon Gata2 C-ZnF deletion, we observed rapid peripheral cytopenia, bone marrow failure, and decreased c-Kit expression on hematopoietic progenitors. Transplant studies indicated GATA-2 has a cell-autonomous role in bone marrow hematopoiesis. Moreover, myeloid lineage populations were particularly sensitive to Gata2 hemizygosity, while molecular assays indicated GATA-2 regulates c-Kit expression in multilineage progenitor cells. Enforced c-Kit expression in Gata2 C-ZnF-deficient hematopoietic progenitors enhanced myeloid colony activity, suggesting GATA-2 sustains myelopoiesis via a cell intrinsic role involving maintenance of c-Kit expression. Our results provide insight into mechanisms regulating hematopoiesis in bone marrow and may contribute to a better understanding of immunodeficiency and bone marrow failure associated with GATA-2 mutation.
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) offer a promising platform to model early embryonic developmental processes, to create disease models and proof-of-concept experiments for regenerative medicine. However, generation of iPSC derived hemato-endothelial and hematopoietic progenitor cells for these applications is challenging due to variable and limited cell numbers, which necessitates enormous up-scaling or development of demanding protocols. Here, we unravel the function of key transcriptional regulators SCL, LMO2, GATA2, ETV2 (SLGE) on early hemato-endothelial specification and establish a fully inducible and stepwise hemato-endothelial forward programming system, based on SLGE regulated overexpression. Regulated induction of SLGE in stable SLGE-iPSC lines drives very efficient generation of large numbers of hemato-endothelial progenitor cells (HEP) (CD144+/CD73-), which generate hematopoietic progenitor cells (CD45+/CD34+/CD38-/CD45RA-/CD90+/CD49f+) through a gradual process of endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition (EHT). Overall design: A human fibroblast-derived iPSC line (H2E6C) was engineered to conditionally (doxycyclin-induction) express the transcription factors SCL (S), LMO2 (L), GATA2 (G) and ETV2 (E). On day 0, Phase I (hemato-endothelial programming; "SLGE-HEP") was started with a change to differentiation medium and an initial mesodermal priming boost by adding a GSK3 inhibitor (CHIR990221). After mesodermal priming, expression of SGLE was initiated by addition of Dox on day 1. Cells were differentiated towards the hemato-endothelial lineage via SLGE-expression and a mixture of supportive cytokines (SCF, TPO, IL-3, FGF2, VEGF). Phase II (generation of hematopoietic progenitor cells; "SLGE-HPC") was started on day 7 by Dox-withdrawal and cultivation of dissociated SLGE-HEP in STEMdiff APEL 2 medium supplemented SCF, TPO, Flt3L, IL-3 and FGF2. RNA-Seq was performed from iPS, day1, day 2, day 7 SLGE-HEP and compared to day 11 SLGE-HPC and human umbilical cord blood (CB) hematopoietic stem cells sorted for CD45+/CD34+/CD38-/CD45RA-/CD90high/CD49fhigh expressing cells.
Project description:In the early fetal liver, hematopoietic progenitors expand and mature together with hepatoblasts, the liver progenitors of hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. Previous analyses of human fetal livers indicated that both progenitors support each other's lineage maturation and curiously share some cell surface markers including CD34 and CD133. Using the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) system, we demonstrate that virtually all hESC-derived hepatoblast-like cells (Hep cells) transition through a progenitor stage expressing CD34 and CD133 as well as GATA2, an additional hematopoietic marker that has not previously been associated with human hepatoblast development. Dynamic expression patterns for CD34, CD133, and GATA2 in hepatoblasts were validated in human fetal livers collected from the first and second trimesters of gestation. Knockdown experiments demonstrate that each gene also functions to regulate hepatic fate mostly in a cell-autonomous fashion, revealing unprecedented roles of fetal hematopoietic progenitor markers in human liver progenitors.
Project description:Primitive erythropoiesis is regulated in a non cell-autonomous fashion across evolution from frogs to mammals. In Xenopus laevis, signals from the overlying ectoderm are required to induce the mesoderm to adopt an erythroid fate. Previous studies in our lab identified the transcription factor GATA2 as a key regulator of this ectodermal signal. To identify GATA2 target genes in the ectoderm required for red blood cell formation in the mesoderm, we used microarray analysis to compare gene expression in ectoderm from GATA2 depleted and wild type embryos. Our analysis identified components of the non-canonical and canonical Wnt pathways as being reciprocally up- and down-regulated downstream of GATA2 in both mesoderm and ectoderm. We show that up-regulation of canonical Wnt signaling during gastrulation blocks commitment to a hematopoietic fate while down-regulation of non-canonical Wnt signaling impairs erythroid differentiation. Our results are consistent with a model in which GATA2 contributes to inhibition of canonical Wnt signaling, thereby permitting progenitors to exit the cell cycle and commit to a hematopoietic fate. Subsequently, activation of non-canonical Wnt signaling plays a later role in enabling these progenitors to differentiate as mature red blood cells.
Project description:In vertebrates, GATA2 is a master regulator of hematopoiesis and is expressed throughout embryo development and in adult life. Although the essential role of GATA2 in mouse hematopoiesis is well established, its involvement during early human hematopoietic development is not clear. By combining time-controlled overexpression of GATA2 with genetic knockout experiments, we found that GATA2, at the mesoderm specification stage, promotes the generation of hemogenic endothelial progenitors and their further differentiation to hematopoietic progenitor cells, and negatively regulates cardiac differentiation. Surprisingly, genome-wide transcriptional and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that GATA2 bound to regulatory regions, and repressed the expression of cardiac development-related genes. Moreover, genes important for hematopoietic differentiation were upregulated by GATA2 in a mostly indirect manner. Collectively, our data reveal a hitherto unrecognized role of GATA2 as a repressor of cardiac fates, and highlight the importance of coordinating the specification and repression of alternative cell fates.
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer a promising platform to model early embryonic developmental processes, to create disease models that can be evaluated by drug screens as well as proof-of-concept experiments for regenerative medicine. However, generation of iPSC-derived hemato-endothelial and hematopoietic progenitor cells for these applications is challenging due to variable and limited cell numbers, which necessitates enormous up-scaling or development of demanding protocols. Here, we unravel the function of key transcriptional regulators SCL, LMO2, GATA2, and ETV2 (SLGE) on early hemato-endothelial specification and establish a fully inducible and stepwise hemato-endothelial forward programming system based on SLGE-regulated overexpression. Regulated induction of SLGE in stable SLGE-iPSC lines drives very efficient generation of large numbers of hemato-endothelial progenitor cells (CD144+/CD73-), which produce hematopoietic progenitor cells (CD45+/CD34+/CD38-/CD45RA-/CD90+/CD49f+) through a gradual process of endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition (EHT).